Book Review: A Dragon’s Guide to Making Your Human Smarter

A Dragon's Guide to Making Your Human SmarterBy Awnali Mills

I so enjoyed the audio book of A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans by Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder that the minute I saw the printed sequel A Dragon’s Guide to Making Your Human Smarter, I immediately went looking for the audio book.

We didn’t have it.


Because I had doubted whether I would like the first book in print as much as I liked it in audio, I hesitated a bit before checking out the book.  Then I thought, why not give it a try and see if you like it as well?  You can always put it down and wait for the audiobook.

So, I did.  I try to always listen to my own advice.

Miss Drake and Winnie don’t get into quite as much trouble this time, because Winnie has enough on her plate getting acclimated to her new school, Spriggs Academy.  Spriggs is where magicals and the naturals that interact with them go to school (since Winnie is Miss Drake’s “pet,” she qualifies).  Winnie has been to so many schools as she and her mother traveled around the country avoiding her grandfather that she is very cautious about making new friends.  Naturally, she quickly makes a few enemies but these are balanced by the friends she makes when she allows herself to.  Miss Drake, while keeping a watch over Winnie, is also kept busy fighting off the nefarious machinations of Winnie’s grandfather.  Will Winnie learn her lessons and be able to save the day?  Or will Miss Drake be forced to take drastic steps to keep her beloved pet safe?

I don’t think I enjoyed the book as much as the audiobook, because I truly loved Susan Denaker’s vocal characterization of Miss Drake, but it wasn’t bad at all.  I still liked the storyline, but missed the semi-combative exchanges between Winnie and Miss Drake as Winnie wormed her way into Miss Drake’s life.  Miss Drake’s arrogant annoyance was what charmed me about the first book, and I missed it in this one.  Still, it’s a good series for kids who enjoy dragons, magic, and strong female characters.

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